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Boy Scouts of America Considering End to Gay Ban

The organization currently does not allow people identifying as homosexual to be scouts or scout leaders.

The Boy Scouts of America might soon end its national ban on gay scouts and scout leaders, the organization announced Monday.

On the BSA's website, director of public relations Deron Smith issued the following statement:

“For more than 100 years, Scouting’s focus has been on working together to deliver the nation’s foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training. Scouting has always been in an ongoing dialogue with the Scouting family to determine what is in the best interest of the organization and the young people we serve.  

“Currently, the BSA is discussing potentially removing the national membership restriction regarding sexual orientation. This would mean there would no longer be any national policy regarding sexual orientation, and the chartered organizations that oversee and deliver Scouting would accept membership and select leaders consistent with each organization’s mission, principles, or religious beliefs. BSA members and parents would be able to choose a local unit that best meets the needs of their families.  

“The policy change under discussion would allow the religious, civic, or educational organizations that oversee and deliver Scouting to determine how to address this issue. The Boy Scouts would not, under any circumstances, dictate a position to units, members, or parents. Under this proposed policy, the BSA would not require any chartered organization to act in ways inconsistent with that organization’s mission, principles, or religious beliefs.”

An NBC News report suggests the change could be announced as early as next week if adopted by the Boy Scouts' board of directors.

What do you think about this possible change in Boy Scouts of America policy? Please tell us in the comments section below.

kevin January 29, 2013 at 07:58 PM
Whaaaaat!? most men are pedos? So false its funny. Sounds like Wayne is projecting his own dark ambitions! wayne's middle name is "likes em a little"
harry finster sucks moose junk January 29, 2013 at 08:32 PM
Pedophilia has NOTHING to do with homosexuality you bozo. What a stereotypical and ignorant statement to make and it just shows how homophobic you are. Lets hope you don't have any children you are raising to be future bozos. Jeesh!
Tom Bates January 29, 2013 at 08:33 PM
Word.
Tom Bates January 29, 2013 at 08:35 PM
I don't contradict myself, but I do...
I Lived Here for 25 Years & Finally Moved Out January 29, 2013 at 09:01 PM
I guess that I'd have to say that if it is "OK" then how many parents in the delivery room hope their baby is gay? I'd think very very few.
I Lived Here for 25 Years & Finally Moved Out January 29, 2013 at 09:03 PM
Wayne...you have serious problems if you believe your comment.
I Lived Here for 25 Years & Finally Moved Out January 29, 2013 at 09:06 PM
Is it ok for the rest of the GLTB community to be Scout leaders or scouts? Why or why not? And why is it called the GLTB "community"?
Jane January 29, 2013 at 09:10 PM
It's not.
Jane January 29, 2013 at 09:16 PM
It doesn't matter a whit to me whether my kids want same sex or opposite sex relationships. But if they wanted same sex relationships, I will have anxiety for them at the way some in the world would treat them - including the way some sorry excuses for humanity have expressed themselves in this thread. Society's decision, thankfully less and less acceptable, to mistreat LGBT folks certainly may play a role in many parents' apprehension for their children. That gay people will have a harder life doesn't mean there's something wrong with being gay; it just means that the hate and marginalization needs to end.
Lavender Green January 29, 2013 at 09:25 PM
zeus thats discrimination! its ok for a priest to rape boys but its not ok for a boy to be in a club and be gay! sad! You should teach children to be fair to everyone not just the ones the adults choose,
Roger M January 29, 2013 at 09:27 PM
what Jane said... pretty much exactly what my mother told me when i was growing up... the only reason she had for preferring i was straight was that if i was gay i'd have to suffer the slings and arrows of bigoted nutcases like the ones posting here... and that was 49 years ago, btw... as for my dad, i think he's almost disappointed that i'm not gay (sort of joking)... both of my parents (now in their 80s) are heavily involved in LGBT issues, so the idea of a parent being opposed to gayness sounds as ridiculous to me as the opposite apparently does to you... i know certain Friends of the Neanderthal here will disagree, but this is evolution, folks... homophobia is going the way of the dodo (in more ways than one, though not fast enough)...
Kristin Thomas January 30, 2013 at 12:12 AM
I am in the generation of new parents joining scouts and am hoping that whatever issues someone might have with a leader has nothing to do with their sexual orientation, but only with their actual leadership. Because we all understand that any adult who is sexually attracted to a child, regardless of gender, is a creep and should not be working with children - gay or straight. We have friends who are gay parents - and they are very good parents with the same hopes and dreams for their children and the same "family values." They deserve to be scout leaders if they so choose and their children deserve the opportunity to participate. I think this is a first step in the right direction. Problems may be at a higher level in these giant organizations, but our own principals, values, and integrity matter. Now that we feel comfortable with participating in the Scouts (if they lift the ban), you can bet that we'll be a positive voice for change, empathy, and acceptance to the highest level that will listen. "It is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing because you can only do a little." -18th-century English writer, clergyman Sydney Smith
Kristin Thomas January 30, 2013 at 12:12 AM
The scouts should see their participation numbers increase once the ban is lifted. I know for a fact that we are not the only parents refusing to allow our sons to participate because of the ban. There are many out there like us, who do not discriminate, and once the ban is lifted and more people become involved it can only help change for the better - I hope.
Chris Sullivan January 30, 2013 at 12:31 AM
Charlie D.: Many people believe that being left-handed is "OK". Are you one of these people who believe this? If so, I'm curious WHY you say it is OK. Seriously, I'm curious.
Chris Sullivan January 30, 2013 at 12:34 AM
Charlie D.: If I had to wager, I'd guess that the reason many parents in the delivery room do not hope their baby is gay is because of all the homophobia they'd have to face from folks like you. It's a tough life - being bullied and discriminated against by ignorant people. I wouldn't wish that on anyone. Aside from that, I can't imagine why any parent would mind (myself included).
Chris Sullivan January 30, 2013 at 12:38 AM
Thank you for sharing this.
Jane January 30, 2013 at 12:41 AM
Well said Kristin. You speak my mind on the issue, too.
Carol Ann January 30, 2013 at 01:00 AM
Why is there even a Gay Policy? Den mothers are allowed and any of them could be misbehaving with the scouts. Is there a straight men scout leader pediphile policy?
KMC January 30, 2013 at 01:43 AM
Totally agree Kristin....I am sure my son would love being involved with the Boy Scouts. However, because of their discrimination policy I could never in good conscience let him participate. I find so many of the comments on this thread disturbing. Who the heck cares if someone is gay, straight, bi, purple, blue whatever....as long as they are a good person, that's all that matters.
Randeroid January 30, 2013 at 02:08 AM
I believe you have heard. Now can you tell us why prejudice against homosexuals is OK?
michelle c January 30, 2013 at 02:15 AM
History has shown that pedophiles are married (to women) or single men. To suggest that a homosexual man would join the scouts just to prey on young boys is ridiculous. The lift on this ban applies mostly to young men who recognize themselves as gay and want to be included in the boy scouts. Young men can not be "turned" as some believe, regardless who is leading them.
harry finster January 30, 2013 at 03:55 AM
if two stars orbit each other are they gay ?
Michelle January 30, 2013 at 05:36 AM
I sure hope you are not associated with my son's troop, Wheezer.
Michelle January 30, 2013 at 05:38 AM
I sure hope you aren't associated with my son's Boy Scout troop, Wheezer.
Michelle January 30, 2013 at 05:38 AM
BSA needs to investigate scout leaders who visit prostitutes. Just saying...
I Lived Here for 25 Years & Finally Moved Out January 30, 2013 at 09:05 PM
Michelle....Where does that comment come from? Do the Girl Scouts investigate whether or not one of their leaders is a cougar? Maybe we investigate anyone who lost money in the stock market, wouldn't want the kids to learn from someone like that!
horseshoe February 01, 2013 at 04:19 AM
AFA of PA Joins Others in Calling for Removal of Boy Scout Board Members Turley and Stephenson (Harrisburg) — Today the American Family Association of Pennsylvania (AFA of PA) contacted the national office of the Boy Scouts of America calling for the removal of two members of the National Executive Board of the Boy Scouts. AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson and Ernst & Young CEO James Turley are not acting in the best interest of Scouting nor the boys they serve by pressuring the Scouts to change their policy concerning homosexual leaders and members. “Stephenson and Turley have come to the Boy Scout Executive Board with an agenda. Their apparent goal is to undermine the organization which has as its mission to help young men make ethical and moral choices over their lifetime. They are asking the Boy Scouts of America to hand over their members to be guinea pigs in this great social experiment called ‘normalizing homosexuality,’” commented Diane Gramley, president of the AFA of PA. http://afaofpa.org/archives/p3947/
Roger M February 01, 2013 at 07:26 PM
figures those flaming liberals over at AT&T are behind this subversion...
European American. February 01, 2013 at 07:38 PM
There's nothing contradictory about my statement. I don't want my kids under the leadership of gay people. I wouldn't have a problem if my kids were gay but I also don't want to push it on them. I don't have a problem with gay people being in charge in the workforce, but I don't want them in charge of my kids moral compass.
Alex Seigfried February 15, 2013 at 06:05 PM
I was a tiger cub, cub scout and a boy scout and in all that time this was never an issue. It's horrible how this has become so politicized and it's the reason I keep my kids out of scouting. If the council votes to allow gays back into the organization then I'll whole heartily jump back into it.

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